2017 Jackson Award - Virginia Hayssen

The 2017 recipient of the Hartley H. T. Jackson Award for service to ASM is Virginia Hayssen, Mary Maples Dunn Professor in Biological Sciences at Smith College, where she teaches and researches evolution of reproduction in mammals. She recently coauthored with Teri Orr the book Reproduction in mammals: the female perspective, to be published by Johns Hopkins University Press in October 2017.

Her major contributions to ASM have been as an editor for Mammalian Species and as a member of the Honoraria and the Grants-in-Aid Committees – all time-consuming commitments. She has been a member of the Honoraria Committee (now Honoraria and Travel Grants Committee) for the past 18 years. She was chair of the committee for 11 years, shepherding it through the awkward transition to an online application process.  She has been on the Grants-in-Aid Committee for 19 years. Altogether, she has served ASM for 71 committee-years.

Ginny was an Associate Editor for Mammalian Species 1996–2000 and Managing Editor 2000–2006. By 2000,  when, > 600 accounts of species had been published, readers had trouble finding specific accounts.  Ginny compiled a searchable database of the accounts and made it available to the public via the Smith College website. Although all accounts are now online and accessible on the ASM website, Ginny continues to update and maintain the Smith College site. With Alfred Gardner she wrote A Guide to Constructing and Understanding Synonymies for Mammalian Species, which has helped many authors in the difficult task of preparing synonymies for their species accounts. To date she has also written or coauthored 16 species accounts.

Virginia Hayssen follows her mentor Betty Horner in encouraging and supporting younger members, especially those attending an ASM meeting for the first time. She brings her students to meetings and encourages their participation in the Society, and she is a strong advocate for women in science. As expressed by the writer of a letter in support of her nomination, “She serves this community of scientists with the care and devotion of a parent, shares her work and ideas with the honesty and clarity of a sibling, and honors and respects the legacy of those who established the field and Society as a reverent grandchild.” For her ongoing service to ASM and her support of the Society, the American Society of Mammalogists recognizes Virginia Hayssen with the Hartley H. T. Jackson Award for Service.